Asia to become aviation’s center of gravity

Atlanta HartsfieldIn 2017, almost 1.5 billion travelers passed through the world’s 20 busiest airports representing 17% of global passenger traffic. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport continues to take the top spot within this group in terms of passenger numbers with nearly 104 million travelers. This appears from Airports Council International’s (ACI) preliminary 2017 world airport traffic rankings.

Beijing Capital International Airport holds the 2nd spot with almost 96 million passengers. Dubai International Airport is the world’s 3rd biggest airfield. As Dubai is a major connection point for long-haul international flights it is the biggest airport in terms of international travelers.

Aviation’s center of gravity continues to shift eastward. China is the largest contributor to passenger traffic growth as it has more than 10 airports with over 20 million travelers per annum each.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is China’s 2nd and the world’s 9th largest airfield. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in China and the 13th largest in the world. Other Chinese airport hubs that occupy a significant proportion of domestic traffic also experience double digit growth.

Subject to capacity considerations the Chinese air transport services have the potential to add an additional 3 billion travelers by 2040, according to the ACI. This represents a 21% share of the contribution to global passenger traffic growth that is forecasted by 2040.

In the years to come India is poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world thanks to a population base of over 1.3 billion, a more liberalized aviation market and strong economic fundamentals. The ACI expects that India will be the 3rd largest aviation market after the USA and China in terms of passenger throughput.

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport grew by 14.1% in 2017, pushing it up from the 22nd to the 16th busiest airport in the world. Other Indian airfields including Calcutta’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Bangalore’s Bengaluru International Airport and Madras’ Chennai International Airport are also ranked among the world’s fastest growing airports.

Tags: world’s busiest airports, Indian aviation market, Chinese air transport

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